Sunday, January 19, 2014

Adam on the History Channel?

Chris Rosebrough of Pirate Christian Radio's Fighting For the Faith has exposed a History Channel misrepresentation (yes, I know, dear reader, you are shocked!) regarding the Hebrew word אָדָם ("Adam") and its translation and interpretation in the creation account of the Book of Genesis.

The History Channel's premise is that the Christian Church, out of either deliberate misrepresentation or out of knuckle-dragging ignorance, has led its followers astray concerning the word "Adam."  And, of course, there are the Usual Suspects, the same TV celebrity scholars who are trotted out every time TV producers need to drum up ratings, such as Elaine Pagels and Bart Ehrman.

Anyway, Rosebrough demonstrates the power of TV propaganda, as countless people undoubtedly watched this program, convinced that the History Channel has integrity and genuine balanced scholarship, and now believe the ridiculous claim of the program.  These are the same people who will now smugly dismiss their Christian neighbors as idiots, while their own interaction with the text is a few TV shows rather than any serious study.

Of course, scholars can (and do!) disagree.  But the fact that the History Channel had to engage in blatant disinformation that can be debunked in a 30 minute presentation is evidence that they are not interested in educating anyone.  They are pushing an agenda, and even twisting the words of a scholar who disagrees with them to give the illusion of agreement.

This is yet another reason why we must not cave into cultural and financial pressure to end-run the seminaries and place men into the Office of the Holy Ministry based on nine internet classes.  We need pastors who are well-trained, who can engage in apologetics, who have studied Greek and Hebrew, who have been through painstaking pastoral formation in classroom and chapel, and who have been thoroughly instructed academically in not only the biblical languages, but in church history as well.

The old Alternate Route program at Concordia Theological Seminary - Fort Wayne used to allow men to be certified for ministry without an M.Div. degree, without taking a single course in Hebrew, and without studying the history of the early church.  I know the program has been revamped, but the continued existence of shortcuts to the altar, font, and pulpit are (or ought to be) cause for concern.

To paraphrase some old public service announcement, if you don't train your pastors in biblical languages and church history, someone else will, like the History Channel.  Well-trained pastors are not a luxury item.  Our congregations deserve to have men shepherding them who can see through this nonsense.

Thank you to Chris Rosebrough for his fine work in exposing the flaw in the History Channel's scholarship as well as their obvious agenda to dishonestly approach the sacred text of two billion people.

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